Elon Musk and Grimes' baby name 'won't be accepted' in California

Elon Musk and Grimes’ baby name X Æ A-12 ‘won’t be accepted’ in California because the state only allows letters from the English alphabet on birth certificates

  • Elon Musk and Grimes announced their newborn son’s name is X Æ A-12
  • The name ‘won’t be accepted’ in California because only the 26 letters from the English alphabet are allowed on birth certificates
  • The Birth Registration Handbook in California prohibits anything besides the English alphabet
  • This includes  numbers, Roman numerals, accents, umlauts, other symbols or emojis
  • The guideline is not a formal law, but is followed by officials and healthcare workers  
  • ‘I don’t think you can say it’s illegal — it just won’t be accepted, Family attorney David J. Glass explained  

Elon Musk and Grimes shocked many when they revealed their newborn son’s name is X Æ A-12, but its not likely the name will be legally accepted in California, an expert said. 

The problem, according to family law attorney David J. Glass, is that birth certificates in the Golden State only allow the 26 letters of the English alphabet. 

‘I don’t think you can say it’s illegal — it just won’t be accepted,’  Glass, who has a PhD in clinical psychology, told People.  

In California, you can only use the ’26 characters of the English language in your baby name.’

Baby X Æ A-12 (pictured) was born on Monday and was already trending on Twitter after his unusual name was revealed 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (left) and singer Grimes (right) revealed the newborn’s name on Twitter

‘Thus, you can’t have numbers, Roman numerals, accents, umlauts or other symbols or emojis. Although an apostrophe, for a name like “O’Connor,” is acceptable,’ Glass said. 

He added that if the couple filled out X Æ A-12’s birth certificate at a local hospital ‘with the odd numbers, dashes and symbols, it will be submitted and then rejected and they’ll be asked to submit it again.’ 

But Musk and Grimes will be able to appeal any rejections from California officials over the child’s name.  

‘They have an opportunity to appeal the rejection of the birth certificate application but it’s unlikely that it will be granted because, again, California… has been struggling with using symbols,’ said Glass.  

The Birth Registration Handbook from the California Department of Public Health-Vital Records echoed these points.

The handbook cites California State Constitution, Article 3, Section 6 for its English only rule.  

Vice reports that the entire section was added in 1986 and it formally cemented English as California’s official language. 

The section reads: ‘This section is intended to preserve, protect and strengthen the English language… the Legislature shall make no law which diminishes or ignores the role of English as the common language of the State of California.’ 

Musk, 48, announced the birth of his son with singer Grimes on Tuesday. He shared this photo of himself holding the newborn in his arms, telling fans the baby is called X Æ A-12

California’s ruling on birth certificates was almost changed in 2014, but the bill was dropped over potential expenses. 

‘They tried to change the [rule] back in 2014 to allow certain character, accents or umlauts – those sort of things – and the bill got dropped because [of the cost] to upgrade their computer systems to allow these accents,’ Glass said. 

He clarified that the birth certificate rule is not formally a law, but is listed in the handbooks distributed to workers across California.  

It’s not likely that officials would allow the name X Æ A-12 on the birth certificate.

‘So your child won’t have an official name and won’t have a birth certificate and you can’t get a social security number until you have a birth certificate and on down the line,’ he said. 

‘Anything that has to be filed with the state, they have a handbook that includes this particular sentence that says the birth certificate must be filled out “using the the 26 alphabetical letters of the English language”.’

Baby X Æ A-12 arrived on Monday and Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, attempted to explain the child’s name on Twitter Tuesday. 

Grimes attempted to break down the meaning behind X Æ A-12’s name to curious fans this week

‘X, the unknown variable,’ she wrote.

 ‘Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence). 

‘A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft). 

‘No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent.’

She added that the ‘A’ stands for her favorite song Archangel, which may refer to the 2007 song by Burial. The 12 is for the Chinese zodiac sign of the rat.

But Grimes apparently made a minor mix up with the name because Musk replied with a correction. 

‘SR-71, but yes,’ he wrote. 

Grimes brushed off the mistake, pointing out she had just given birth and was recovering from surgery. 


  • It still holds the world record from 1976 for being the fastest manned jet-powered aircraft ever flown reaching a staggering 2,193 mph (Mach 3.3) 
  • The aircraft’s speed meant it could simply accelerate away from missiles during the Cold War
  • The SR stands for strategic reconnaissance and the plane was nicknamed the Blackbird because of its black paint job, designed to dissipate heat
  • It was made of titanium so it could withstand high temperatures while flying at such high speeds – at full speed its surface heated up to 500+ degrees Fahrenheit
  • It could fly at an altitude of 85,069 feet – higher than anti-aircraft fire could reach
  • The CIA created several fake companies under which it could then buy titanium from the Soviet Union to make the Blackbirds
  • The SR-71’s spy equipment allowed it to survey 100,000 square miles per hour 
  • It was barely visible to radar, meaning the US could enter Soviet airspace without detection 

‘I’m recovering from surgery and barely alive so may my typos b forgiven but, damnit. That was meant to be profound,’ she replied to her boyfriend.

The Canadian singer said in February that she wants to let their baby choose their own gender identity. 

Musk admitted on Joe Rogan’s podcast on Thursday that Grimes chose the majority of X Æ A-12’s name. 

Musk told Rogan: ‘First of all, my partner is the one that, actually, mostly, came up with the name. Yeah, she’s great at names.’

When asked to explain the choice Musk replied: ‘I mean it’s just X, the letter X. And then, the Æ is, like, pronounced “Ash”.

‘And then, A-12, A-12 is my contribution. Archangel 12, the precursor to the SR-71, is the coolest plane ever’, said. 

Musk added: ‘I think it’s better being older and having a kid. I appreciate it more. Babies are awesome.’

Musk has five sons – Griffin, Xavier, Kai, Saxon and Damian – from his previous marriage to Canadian author Justine Wilson.   

Their first child, Nevada Alexander Musk, died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when he was just 10 weeks old.

The couple later had five sons through IVF – twins Griffin and Xavier, who were born in 2004, followed by triplets Kai, Saxon and Damian in 2006.  

After the couple announced the birth of X Æ A-12, many Twitter users sent out tweets poking fun of the unusual name.

‘That’s going to be tough on the teacher,’ one joked.

‘It’s pronounced “Rachel”‘, another deadpanned.

Meanwhile another wrote about X Æ A-12’s name: ‘That awkward moment when all names are taken, so you smash all the keys on the keyboard.’ 

Musk, who has a reported net worth of $37 billion, began dating Grimes in 2018 after they met at that year’s Met Gala.  

Earlier this month Musk went on a bizarre Twitter rant which sent stocks of the electric car company in a freefall, wiping $14 billion from the company’s market capitalization and $3 billion from Musk’s net worth.  

Musk (right) told Joe Rogan on Thursday: ‘First of all, my partner is the one that, actually, mostly, came up with the name. Yeah, she’s great at names

‘Tesla stock price is too high imo,’ Musk tweeted on Friday, before going on to vow to sell off his physical possessions and recite part of the national anthem.

Markets reacted quickly, sending the company’s stock plunging more than 10 percent for the session. 

Musk’s tweet about Tesla’s valuation was only the beginning of an erratic stream of tweets that included misquoted lyrics of The Star Spangled Banner as well as a strange pledge to sell his possessions.

Musk also tweeted: ‘Now give people back their FREEDOM.’ 

That tweet is likely a reference to Musk’s controversial comments slamming the coronavirus lockdown, which he called ‘fascist’ on Wednesday. 

He also said he would be selling all of his possessions and added the term billionaire has become a way to target someone. 

He explained to Rogan: ‘That doesn’t seem like a good use of assets. Somebody could probably be enjoying those houses and get better use of them than me.’

The tech entrepreneur, who according to Forbes is worth more than $38 billion, tweeted that he intends to sell ‘almost all physical possessions.’ ‘Will own no house,’ Musk tweeted

He confirmed he would rent a property, rather than own one. 

In November 2013, Musk purchased a three-quarter-acre Bel Air home for $6.75 million. That property once belonged to Wilder, the late Willy Wonka actor who died in 2016. Musk has since turned the property into a private school.

It is one of six that Musk bought within walking distance of each other.

Musk also purchased a seventh home near Tesla headquarters in Northern California. 

On Friday, he announced that he would reopen the Tesla car factory in Fremont, California, after it shuttered in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the manufacturers could restart operations on Friday.        

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